“not sure whats worse. proud boy march at first friday in phoenix or being made to feel like they dont belong at first friday. the art districts complicity with gentrification is functionally on the same level as the proud boy ethos. probably worse considering its success with terrorizing black brown indigenous people. the prosperity of liberal art galleries and western chauvinists only means more criminalizing and displacement of angry black and brown people.”
Call for an anti-fascist & anti-colonial contingent against Trump’s rally on Tuesday, August 22 at 6pm at the Phoenix Convention Center in downtown Phoenix on occupied O’odham territory.
We will converge, in the spirit of solidarity and hostility to the current order, and as a physical body ready to act in self-defense and mutual protection of each other from cops, fascists, and liberal/radical “peace police.”
Below we address the reasons for an anti-fascist and anti-colonial presence, in addition to concluding details about gathering on Tuesday.
Because we anarchists value the individual we refuse any ideological movement(whether it’s statist communism, free market capitalism, or national socialism) which seeks to amplify attacks on the individual through systematic coercion, brutality, and murder. It is obvious why we oppose fascism, why we should never confuse this pseudo-revolutionary movement of the right with a project of liberation founded in solidarity with others also struggling for freedom (from authority, from god, from masters) rather than squabbling over which section of the elite to liquidate (colloquially known as “drain the swamp”).
If we have to convince you why we oppose fascism, take them at their word. We have. Their intention is to criminalize, terrorize and murder anarchists, “race traitors”, feminists, LGBTQ people, indigenous people, non-white immigrant populations, Muslim and Jewish people, and Black people. They want to build a white ethno-state in the US. Indigenous people, immigrants, anarchists, and other have fought white nationalists, neo-nazis, and anti-immigrant zealots in the streets for years in Arizona. This story is not new.
We fight them because we do not believe there is freedom for the individual in the state or the nation, whether democratic, communist, or fascist. As anarchists we oppose all tyranny of majorities imposing their will on minorities and that includes decrees from dictators or through the democratic means of the ballot box. Nor should we forget that when the democratically elected politicians are desperate, they point to the fascist and warn that authoritarianism is the consequence to a crippled democracy. The politicians must want us to thank them for this world of cops, landlords, and bosses. No state, no thanks.
Because we recognize the limitations of anti-fascism on stolen land. We’ve experienced the heavy hand of the state in “Arizona” long before Trump was elected. We’ve resisted widespread attacks on migrants (many of whom are our Indigenous relations) through state mechanisms, many of these institutions designed to ensnare or kill migrants also enforce a colonial rule on un-ceded Indigenous lands. From the patrols of Arpaio’s MCSO saturations targeting Yaqui people in Guadalupe, widespread police violence targeting Indigenous people across the state, forced removal of more than 20,000 Diné from Black Mesa, repression against indigenous Peoples defending sacred sites such as the San Francisco Peaks, the Border Patrol checkpoints dotting the roads of the Tohono O’odham Nation, and the border wall as a physical barrier dividing Indigenous Peoples separated by the colonial US-Mexico border.
Indigenous resistance to these efforts is long, while anarchist accomplices are still new to this struggle. We have organized projects of solidarity to oppose the colonial networks of control, because we understand that an anti-fascism that does not center anti-colonialism is certain to reproduce the same structures of settler colonial violence that has existed for over 500 years on this continent, and over 200 years of representative democracy in the “United States.” We don’t want a return to normal, going back to “common sense” is the same world in which Loreal Tsingine and Bennett Patricio (baht). are murdered by state enforcers, a normalcy that degrades and attacks Indigenous cultures as “impediments to progress” as we have seen with the desecration of South Mountain. We refuse this colonial “normalcy” as colonization has always meant war against Mother Earth and all life.
JOE ARPAIO AND “THE MOVEMENT”
Trump’s announcement that he is considering a pardon for the former Sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio, evoked outcry from activists who believed that the system had worked where the movement had failed. Arpaio’s conviction was politics as usual, but when news broke that Trump may pardon the former Sheriff, the immigrant advocacy non-profit Puente responded with: “Trump will be in Arizona and we want to send a very clear message that we will not pardon white supremacy the way he has done so with#Charlottesville and now with Joe #Arpaio.” Really? What does that even mean? We can only hope that if Trump pardons Arpaio the response will be more than some vague commitment to “the people” not pardoning white supremacy. The social peace in the valley is as much a product of the state repression as it is the task of the non-profit activist groups to suppress an insurrectionary moment and funnel outrage and anger into a series of endless marches.
Trump’s visit is social war, Arpaio’s pardon is social war, daily life is social war.
“I believe it was Clausewitz who said that war was simply politics carried out by other means. I think that the reverse is a truer expression of social reality. Politics is simply the social war carried out using less bloody means. If we consider that it is always the ruling class and its lackeys who call for social peace, demanding that the exploited and excluded refrain from violence in dealing with their social condition, it becomes obvious that social peace is simply part of the strategy of the social war.”
Join us on Tuesday, August 22 at 6pm at the Phoenix Convention Center at 100 N. 3rd St. in downtown Phoenix. Look for the black flags.
Over 1,000 people took to the streets of Phoenix on a hot Friday night to protest numerous issues associated with the police in the wake of the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. While the march took to the streets, it was largely self-policing, aside from a notable confrontation with a Trump supporter who had to be escorted from the rally by police after he was knocked to the ground.
The mood of the march changed after a group of armed militia, who had shadowed the march, began to run ahead of the march, at one point cutting through the front of the march. The crowd gave chase to the militia but was stopped when officers in riot gear were driven into the fray to help the camouflage wearing militia men escape, providing marchers with the first look at the plans the Phoenix PD had in place for those who stepped out of line. I yelled at the militiamen as they had ran by, and then complained about the armed group aloud, three older women were walking next to me, one said that they all had wanted to bring firearms to the demonstration, but the march organizers had insisted that attendees leave all weapons at home.
While much has been made locally since the march as to whether a march
organizer tricked the crowd to march towards the I-10 on ramp, I overheard a number of people in the crowd (mostly younger people) call for the freeway to be taken. Some of these same voices were also denouncing the march leadership.
Once the march turned onto 7th St. to head north to the freeway, a large presence of police were visible, creating a skirmish line across 7th St. and Fillmore. While some of the march organizers’ people tried to divert marchers from a head on confrontation with police by turning the march onto Fillmore, many younger people surged forward to the shields of riot police. Water bottles flew through the air at police, some of those in conflict removed their shirts and used them to conceal their identities as the Phoenix PD’s mobile surveillance unit “Freedom on the Move” sat parked well behind the police line with a raised camera high over the crowd to record the coming conflict.
The cops sprayed the crowd with pepper spray, causing hundreds of people to turn and run from the skirmish line. As many laid in the street, some screaming, as they dealt with the effects of the spray, others were being lifted off of the crowd, or helped from the ground as they had been trampled by the crowd in retreat. Soon water bottles gave way to rocks, and the Phoenix PD declared the march to be an illegal assembly. March organizers scrambled to move the crowd away from the police line as the conflict intensified, and the pleas to stop the confrontations with police fell on many deaf ears.
As the march finally moved away from the police line, much smaller than when it had first arrived as the police dispensed liberal amounts of pepper spray, it appeared that the march organizers had succeeded in diverting the crowd back to the core of the downtown Phoenix area. A group of people towards the front of the march broke away and pulled the rest of the march with them down a side street, an attempt to bypass the police line and make it to the freeway.
I could see police running up 7th St. and police vehicles making hasty u-turns to assemble a skirmish line at 7th St. and Roosevelt, the crowd ran too. Some were picking up rocks from dirt lots, others snapchatting and calling friends to tell them what was going down in Phoenix, and other stood in the way of police vehicles that had yet to make it north of Roosevelt. While there were only three arrests Friday night, there were dozens of people who unleashed rocks on the reassembled line of riot police blocking the street north of Roosevelt, while a police helicopter flying overhead made periodic announcements regarding the order to disperse. More people arrived, some jumped out of cars, maybe after a phone call from a friend or after watching the fights on the news, many grabbed the biggest rocks they could find to heave at police lines.
The police responded with tear gas, pepper balls, and more tear gas. Some of the tear gas was thrown back, but the amount of chemical weapons deployed had the desired effect of breaking up what was left of the crowd.
I arrived late to the march with pretty low standards, considering the reputation of the march organizer, and the warnings put forth by both the Mayor and Chief of Police to cancel the demonstration in the wake of the Dallas shootings. I didn’t hear anyone say a word about Dallas that night, a night that saw the largest confrontation with the Phoenix PD since the anti-Nazi rebellion against the National Socialist Movement in November 2010. The last time there were anti-police violence demonstrations of this size was in December 2014, just days before the bullets of an assassin targeting NY cops caused many to retreat from their agitation against the agents of the state.
Unlike the December 2014 demonstration, this was considerably less white, perhaps an effect of the Dallas shootings, as the march was overwhelmingly black and brown, minus the consistently conservative input from white allies and activists.
Finally, the media, the march organizer, and the police did their best at minimizing the scale of the hostilities towards police, reducing it to the actions of the three people arrested on Friday night. The police touted the low number of arrests as an example of the department’s close ties to “the community,” while the protest organizers slandered the arrested on TV the next day. For my perspective, what happened on Friday was significant because those fighting the police refused the leadership of clergy and politician, the authority of the state, and the expectation to self-police in the midst of an unfolding national crisis. Phoenix is a poor town, second only to Detroit for the level of poverty, this poverty is shared unequally among the indigenous, black, brown, and white residents of this doomed metropolis on these occupied Akimel O’odham land.